(WSYR) — With high-risk sports getting the green light to start back up and music venues soon to reopen, the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) is calling on the governor to release formal guidance on music and art programs in schools.

Throughout the pandemic, there’s been a movement in the music industry to “Let Them Play.” And program leaders say it’s no different when it comes to students and school music.

We know that when students participate in athletics and the arts, that they are doing something that gets them pride and excitement and helps them learn… And helps them learn in so many different ways.

David Brown
NYSSMA President

That’s why NYSSMA wants to reevaluate the recommendations when it comes to music and art requirements in all schools. Many schools across the state are still following the instructional model released by the state last July, when schools first got the green light to reopen.

This includes increasing the distance to 12 feet between students during all music rehearsals and performances. But the president of NYSSMA believes there seems to be a disconnect.

“If we’re going to say we can put students on a basketball court, then we can put students on stage,” said Brown. “I believe wholeheartedly in that and there is a way — If we can do it safely for one, we can do it safely for the other.”

Children need music in their lives… We need music in our lives.

David Brown

In a letter to the governor, Brown is requesting a committee of health experts and music educators to be created to review the validity of the current 12-foot spacing requirement.